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Reactions over suspension of renewal of work permits for expats above 60 yrs of age

Economic experts criticize decisions

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 28: A number of economic experts criticized the decisions to suspend issuance and renewal of work permits for expatriates above the age of 60 years, as such a step will lead to a number of problems.

According to an economic expert and former director of Kuwait Investment Authority Ali Al-Bader, the inclination to suspend the issuance and renewal of work permits for expatriates above the age of 60 who work in the private sector is not suitable, as it will not only increase obstacles for the private sector but will also violate the regulations of free economy.

He stressed that such decisions will never solve the unemployment issue for Kuwaiti youths but will instead harm many companies and private sector institutions as they will be forced to let go of a number of experienced employees who cannot be replaced by newly graduated Kuwaiti youth.

Meanwhile, a member of the Board of Directors of Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Abdullah Al-Mullah stressed the importance of opening doors for discussing such intentions with the relevant bodies governing the private sector before they are implemented, adding that such decisions will lead to many problems that will negatively impact various aspects of the country.

He explained that most of the expatriates of this age group live in Kuwait with their families, and they will be obligated to leave Kuwait with their families. This will negatively affect the economy in many ways especially the real estate and retail sectors.

On the other hand, financial expert Mohammad Ramadan said the intention to implement such decisions requires data such as the number of affected expatriates in order to identify the future consequences of the decisions.

He affirmed that these decisions might have positive results in terms of enhancement of productivity through the replacement of old employees with new ones.

Most of the employees of this age group receive high salaries. When they are replaced by young employees, the latter will receive lower salaries. This in turn will help the relevant companies to save money.

Ramadan indicated that the expatriates of this age group who work in the public sector should be replaced by Kuwaiti employees, as it could help rectify the demographic imbalance. He stressed the importance of exempting professions that need experienced employees such as doctors and lawyers.

By Bilal Bader, Mahmoud Shendi and Rabab Algohary Al-Seyassah Staff

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